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What is Voice Search and Why is it Important to your Nonprofit?

Have you noticed that the use of voice search has recently increased? How many times have you asked Siri, Google Now, or...

Written by Maggie Nugent · 3 min read >

Have you noticed that the use of voice search has recently increased? How many times have you asked Siri, Google Now, or Cortana questions? As a nonprofit, keeping up with this new search trend is essential to stay in the top position of Google search rankings. 

In this blog post, we explore the basics of voice search and how you can use it to optimize your organization’s website SEO.

What exactly is voice search?

Voice search is a feature offered by systems capable of understanding speech and responding to it with related content. Imagine that instead of typing “What is voice search?” into the Google search bar,  you instead ask that question aloud and Google responds with the best results to match your needs. It’s as simple as that!

Voice search can be used on a number of devices, although it is most common on smartphones. Additionally, voice search isn’t limited to Google devices — Microsoft and Apple also utilize their own voice search technology. 

Is voice search really relevant?

More than ever, people are using their mobile devices to search the internet. Because of the availability of voice search on mobile devices, that means that people are searching the internet using voice commands more than ever. 

As Forbes says, the future is no longer science fiction and the secret to the sustainability of your nonprofit organization is voice search SEO.

Voice search popularity will continue to grow for years to come, but the numbers suggest it’s already time to start thinking about voice search and how it impacts your organization. According to a recent survey, nearly 40 percent of all internet users in the US and a third of its total population are users of voice search.

In view of these figures, doubts dissipate with each passing day: voice research has come to dominate and the future is now. Evolution is inevitable and the only solution for NPOs is to adapt.

How do I optimize my organization’s website for voice search?

Now that you know the importance of voice search and how it will impact your SEO now and in the future, it is important to be prepared. Here are some tips on how to get started.

1 – Start by having your website SEO-optimized

It may seem repetitive that we’re always going back to basics, but nothing that involves Google will work properly if you don’t have your website properly optimized for search. 

To rank highly with voice search in particular, your keywords need to be long and interrogative phrases. 

In fact, there are variations between the keywords that we normally use on keyboards search and in voice search. 

Questions have to be the main/key phrase. This means that, if you will normally use something like”nonprofit animal shelters” in the google search bar, the voice search question will be something like: “What are the nonprofit animal shelters in southern California?”

Produce long-form content that holds the maximum number of questions. The likelihood that your content will appear at the top of voice searches will be improved by longer texts with more key phrases.

While you’re trying to optimize your SEO, make sure to anticipate what a user may be asking about in relation to your nonprofit organization’s niche. For instance, if you’re an organization that helps resettle refugees, you might anticipate someone in your area asking Siri, “How can I support refugees in Portland, Maine?” This means you should try to work that phrase and those keywords into the content of your website, so that your site appears when that question is asked. 

Research what your audience is talking about (search on social networks, search engines, and Ubersuggest), define the correct keywords that are related to your organization and sector, and develop content that is in accordance with this.

2 – Optimize your site for featured snippets

Featured snippets are answer cards that appear right at the top of the Google search page. They are known as “Position zero.” Some voice assistants read the featured snippets or show the result on the screen when the user asks a question. That’s why it is so important to produce complete and informative materials about your NGO. The better your search engine optimization, the better chance you have of being a featured snippet. 

3 – Answer your visitors’ frequently asked questions

 We talked above about how important it will be to identify what questions users will be asking that pertain to your website, and then creating content that contains those keywords and phrases. An easy way to do this is with a “Frequently Asked Questions” section of your website. This allows you to plainly write out the exact questions a user may be asking about the topics relevant to your nonprofit. 

When creating your FAQs, start with the questions Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How. In answering these questions, continue to use key phrases you think users would be searching for online. For example, if you’re an organization in Boston that accepts clothing donations, a good question to include in your FAQs would be: 

“Where can I donate clothes in the Boston area?” The answer to this question should contain complete phrases like, “If you live in the Boston area, you can donate your used clothes to [organization name] at these locations.”

4 – Optimize SEO for local content/geographic location

A report conducted by Google reports an increasing trend: over the past two years, the keyword term “near me” has risen by 500 percent – voice search would make it even more popular. This means including geographical SEO terms is going to be important in the age of voice search. 

5 – Voice search is natural

Voice searches appear to be made with common everyday phrases. Voice searches are often non-robotic and just like normal conversations. Construct your contents as if you are engaging in a discussion. The most obvious difference between using voice search and text search is the choice of words, tone, and formulation. 

This may look like a small difference, but it significantly affects your website traffic.

One way by which this can work for your organization is to pay careful attention to the way your audience/supporters speak and apply it to your SEO.

In Conclusion

Focusing on SEO for voice search may seem like a futuristic thing, but if you optimize your site now to get better results in voice search, you will be stepping up your organizations’ potential to appear in important and related search to your nonprofit organizations. 

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